Today is a day that celebrates love, yes, but it’s also Library Lover’s Day on February 14, dedicated to book lovers across the globe. The day honors libraries and the amazing life-changing books they hold within them. Before you ask why libraries need to be celebrated, digest this fact — there was a time when libraries didn’t exist! The word ‘library’ is actually a Latin word that literally means ‘a place that stores books.’ Therefore, libraries were simply places appointed by the state to ‘stock’ books and important manuscripts for the longest time.
History of Library Lovers’ Day
Library Lovers’ Day was initially started in Australia in 2006 by the State Library of New South Wales (NSW). The day became a national holiday in 2007 when the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) joined in on the campaign to promote their passion for books. Though the aim was to raise awareness regarding the services some great libraries offer, the day soon became one that provided solace to those who were ‘dateless’ on V-Day.
Today, Library Lover’s Day is celebrated internationally with a new theme every year! For instance, in 2018 Bond University’s John & Alison Kearney Library went all out and celebrated the day with a flashy display of a vintage typewriter, pens, and paper. The items were placed so visitors could write love letters to a special someone or their favorite library.
In 2019, ALIA introduced the theme ‘Library Love Stories,’ which also included a fictional story writing competition about finding love in the library. The same year, #LibraryLoversDay was also trending on Twitter. In 2020, the South Perth Libraries organized an event where people had to fill out a ‘Matchmaking Form’ and the library staff recommended the readers books and authors they may fall in love with based on their personality traits. Talk about a match made in heaven!
Library Lovers’ Day timeline
The world’s first library is formed in the Babylonian town of Nippur.
The Library of Alexandria, the biggest library of the ancient world with literature from across the globe, is established.
Private libraries are formed by kings and the Vatican City introduces its library.
Modern libraries are designed after being separated from the palaces they were a part of.
Library Lovers’ Day FAQs
Do all libraries in the world celebrate Library Lovers’ Day?
Though the special day is recognized internationally, not all libraries in small towns and cities host a Library Lovers’ Day event. Fret not! You can be the first one to pitch an idea for a celebration to a library near you.
How can I collect funds to celebrate the day?
Reach out to government departments or any library administration and run an interesting idea by them. They can hold an event with tickets to pay off the cost, or sponsors can be arranged to fund an event.
Is the day only for single people?
Definitely not! The day is for anyone and everyone with a love for books.
Library Lovers’ Day Activities
Analyze your favorite character
Schedule an event with your friends where each member gets to write a complete personality analysis of their favorite character in a book. Exchange the analysis with someone who hasn’t read that book yet so they develop an interest in reading the novel that has you so intrigued.
Dress up like a book character
Why wait for Halloween when you can dress up as your favorite book character on Library Lover’s Day? The options are endless, be it a character from “Twilight”, “The Hunger Games”, “Pride and Prejudice”, or “Gone with the Wind.”
Do some good
Organize an event at a library that welcomes children suffering from disabilities and life-threatening diseases. The aim is to partner up with a child and introduce them to your favorite book and its storyline.
Five Fun Facts About Libraries
Before the word ‘library’ was created
In China, the library was called ‘building storing books’ before the official term was introduced.
The largest library in the world
The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., stocks more than 39 million books.
The most libraries per capita in the world
The city of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom has the most libraries per 100,000 people in the world — 60.5.
Other names for a library
Other names for a library include Athenaeum, ambry, archives, reference collection, and incunabula.
Number of libraries in developing countries
There are 230,000 public libraries in developing countries across the world.
Why We Love Library Lovers’ Day
They serve as educational resources
Even in the day and age of Google, a library still serves as an essential educational resource to students. This is because libraries stock books and manuscripts that are not even available online.
You can read an otherwise unaffordable book
Don’t have enough money to spend on novels or research books? Don’t worry, all you need is a membership to a well-stocked library and you can read any book of your choice. Plus point: It won’t cost you an arm and a leg!
Libraries provide silence
Not everyone resides in households that provide hours of silence required to conduct research and write papers. During times like these, libraries play an essential role, especially for students who reside in dorm rooms.
Library Lovers’ Day dates